Thursday, May 21, 2015

Luke is 4!! Isaac is done with kindergarten!!

 My sweet little Luke is four years old! Actually, he's been four for nine days now, but it's been a rather chaotic nine days. :-)

Luke's birthday was the day that we were driving home from vacation. We stopped and had a "special birthday breakfast" at a very overpriced pancake house, but he spent most of the meal trying to slide out of the booth onto the floor, so it wasn't exactly what I would call a rousing success!

So the day after we got home, we made a "penguin cake." He asked originally for a very fancy and very specific cake that--quite honestly--would have taken hours to make and was just not something I could face doing the day after getting home, so I convinced him that penguins would probably prefer a (storebought) Oreo crust filled with ice cream and whipped cream. Thankfully, he agreed.

When I hung up the birthday banner, I took this photo first...

...and I thought, "Oh man, we can do better than that!" So I said to Luke, "Lukey! Look right at me! Smile so I can see your cute little teeth!"

And we wound up with these...

Too classic!

So...Luke at age four. He is still telling us delightfully funny little imaginative stories, and still loves to play with his dinosaurs and tell crazy awesome stories about what they are doing using these AMAZING voices (as Abigail says, if you're bored, just go sit quietly near Luke and watch the show!). He is still really sweet and cuddly and occasionally will do my favorite thing of falling asleep in some random place and snoozing peacefully while the chaos continues around him. He loves playing outside (especially jumping on the trampoline and getting underdogs on the swings!). He loves "fact" books, is completely obsessed with penguins, loves loves to do any kind of craft (he's always very sad if we don't go to "craft storytime" at our local library), will sit listening to someone read aloud for hours, and is so tall and strong that he is often mistaken for Isaac's twin. He absolutely adores Isaac and the two of them are inseparable. It warms my heart to see the two of them together.

Luke at four is also a bit of a terror! He and Nathan don't get along very well and their fighting is pretty much no holds barred. This is totally new to me, since none of the other kids ever fought, but I am hoping that I will look back on this post in a few years and smile because Luke & Nathan are now the best of friends (please, please, please!). Luke is extremely strong-willed and it's absolutely impossible to persuade him to do something he doesn't want to do; the only solution is to distract him with a story or game or something along those lines (i.e. if he just sits down and refuses to move, you start telling him a story and then he'll follow you anywhere as long as the story continues). He is very stubborn, determined, and set on doing things his way. He has an INCREDIBLE memory and never forgets anything you promise him, and often surprises me when we are somewhere that we haven't been for a long time & he starts recounting a story about what happened the last time we were there (he's very good at remembering what foods we eat in different places!).

Our Luke is a wonderful addition to our family and it would be such a dull and uninspired place without him!

Speaking of Luke's best buddy in the world, Isaac graduated from kindergarten today! Here he is with his sweet teacher. He has loved this year and has grown by leaps and bounds, as I knew he would! He is amazing with math (no surprise there--remember when he used to drill Juliet on her flashcards when he was three and she was five?!) and is a fantastic reader. Right now he is halfway through Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and I love listening to him read it out loud to Luke in the afternoons, which he always does so obligingly--he even catches Luke up on what he (Isaac) read by himself before bedtime!

I'm so glad that we were able to work it out with the school to do half-day kindergarten with Isaac. His teacher was really supportive and I cherished that time with him in the afternoons; it was also really great for Luke to have his best buddy around. I don't know what Luke is going to do all day next year when Isaac is in first grade--go into mourning? Become friends with Nathan?!

Isaac's teacher described him today as "quiet but mighty." I think it's a very apt description. He's never one to make his presence felt and tends to be a rather reserved child, but he is always right there when someone needs help. Often when I would show up to pick him up, he would tell me, "Mom, just a minute--I need to help Chase finish cutting his project because I finished mine and he was having a hard time and feeling very sad," or "Mom, I am almost ready, but Mya got stuck on the computer and I know how to fix it." He is such a kind-hearted soul and is so sensitive to the needs and thoughts of others. And he is so affectionate! One day his teacher--who was a little choked up--showed me a page that he had written about what he wanted to do when he grew up--the other kids were writing about being cowboys or ballerinas or firefighters, and he wrote that he wanted to have a wife and children and take care of them. And he had illustrated it with a drawing of himself and his family, with labels like "washing dishes," "reading stories to my children," "being nice to my wife." It's obvious that my sweet little boy has a wonderful role model in his father (and I love his sense of style! Oh my Isaac...).

And here's my big accomplishment that I've been working on since Luke's third birthday and this entire school year--my bangs are finally long enough to tuck behind my ears again. I am NEVER cutting my hair that short again!!! I always think it will be cute and fun and then I realize it's a sweaty-hair-on-my-forehead nightmare. Like how I am so excited about being able to pull my hair back this summer that I think it's totally blog-worthy?!

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